The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on the people to be conscious of the threats posed by violent extremists by being more vigilant in their communities and at gatherings.
It said as the government was dealing with the situation, the citizenry too needed to lend their support by looking out for and reporting suspicious characters to the security agencies.
“I think all of us must be conscious; this is a real threat to us, probably more threatening than the economic situation we are facing. We must wake up and protect our motherland and the interest of our children. We should be very vigilant in these times,” the Executive Secretary of the NPC, George Amoh, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday.
Mr Amoh said the council was in border communities in three regions of the north to create awareness of the situation.
Next week, he said, it would be in Elubo to sensitise the people to the issue.
“Already, the Peace Council has started something. After this, we are going to engage student leaders across the country. We want to equip them with knowledge on signs to look out for,” he added.
According to him, the country would be divided into three zones for the sensitisation programme in July this year, to be extended to tertiary institutions, after which it will be cascaded down.
He said the council had developed a questionnaire for religious leaders in the performance of their functions to ensure security in their respective communities.
He said it had trained more than 500 people on violent extremism across the country, and that it was working towards training an additional 500 people.
Mr Amoh charged the media to help in the sensitisation programme by educating the public on the dangers of terrorism.
Over the weekend, the Ministry of National Security, in a statement, said there was a growing threat of terrorism in the sub-region and the expansionist drive of terrorist groups towards coastal West African states, with a renewed modus operandi of targeting public gatherings, including places of worship.
As a result, the statement said, it was imperative that precautionary measures were taken by all stakeholders, adding that National Security was collaborating with the relevant state security and intelligence agencies to avert terrorist attacks in the country.
It further urged the authorities at places of worship to enhance security, particularly in areas where there were mass gatherings.
“These measures may include but are not limited to the installation of CCTV cameras at designated places of worship, the engagement of the services of approved private security guards, among others,” the statement, signed by the National Security Coordinator, Major General Francis Adu-Amanfoh (retd), added.
Last week, people suspected to be extremists attacked neighbouring Togo, killing eight soldiers and wounding 13 others in the northern part of that country. Burkina Faso has also witnessed some terrorist attacks in recent years.